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Remembering Big Pun (1971-2000)

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

The Bronx is the original home of hip hop and they have remained relevant throughout the number of changes hip hop has gone through. Fat Joe, a native of The Bronx, has been making hit records for nearly twenty years. While Fat Joe is considered the most-successful Puerto Rican rapper from The Bronx, even he acknowledges if Big Pun had lived, the title would belong to him.

During the late 1990s, Big Pun began recording music and linked with Fat Joe. Big Pun’s big break came on Fat Joe’s first Jealous One’s Envy album. However, in 1998, Big Pun returned with his own solo debut and a deal with Loud Records. During this period, Big Pun would also join Fat Joe’s company, Terror Squad.

Big Pun would post three major hits, “I’m Not a Player,” “Still Not a Player,” featuring Joe, and the Donell Jones-assisted, “It’s So Hard.” The world did not learn of Big Pun until 1997, despite him being on the scene, making music for nearly a decade. Big Pun enjoyed a brief run among the top of the game and set records before his untimely death in February of 2000.

Before his death, Fat Joe revealed he and Big Pun had a conversation about losing weight. Last summer, Fat Joe returned to the public eye much slimmer than fans were used to seeing him. Fat Joe has said, several times, his weight loss has been inspired by seeing how Big Pun essentially died from being overweight. Despite his death, Big Pun has remained a relevant part of the hip hop culture and has inspired several of the current hip hop superstars.

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